Pam Dudding-Burch
Contributing writer

Photo by Pam Dudding-Burch
At the Craig Valley VFW Post #4491, the sign at the entrance reveals the hearts of the men and women inside. They are hoping to take men and women who are disabled Veterans on hunting trips this year.

Have good hunting land? Love our Veterans who fought for our freedom? Then the local Veterans of the Craig Valley VFW Post #4491 has an opportunity awaiting you!

“We are looking for people who own good hunting land that would allow us to bring disabled Veterans onto your property to have a day or two of hunting,” Paul Beaudoin, a member of Post #4491 and retired from the Navy, said.

Members of Craig County’s local VFW have such a tender heart for their fellow comrades. At their last meeting in July, they talked about things that are close to their hearts that some of them are still able to do in their normal routine of life, such as hunting.

Within that conversation, Beaudoin brought up the idea of helping other comrades who are now unable to go into the woods due to loss of limbs or other military connected disability, to have a day to hunt. The idea is for them to invite Veterans who have single or double amputees or in a wheelchair to this event.

“Our desire is for us to be able to take our comrades out hunting,” Beaudoin explained. “We will go out a day or so ahead and set up the tent and area where we will take them and have the land owner to tell us about the area.” They will position themselves at the designated location at daylight.

Each disabled Veteran will be accompanied by a Veteran from Post 4491.”We hope to have places where they can sit and wait for animals to cross that area,” Beaudoin explained. “You tell us what we can shoot, whether a doe, turkey, buck or bear,” he added. After the person makes the shot, they will bring it out to gut it, process it and give it to the Vet to take home.

They are looking for several different landowners in Craig County. They desire to have this event ready for the opening day of crossbow season. Oct 7. Other dates may be preferred as well.

“We want people in the community who would like to help to sponsor a Vet,” Beaudoin explained. They will stay overnight at the VFW lodge where they will also be fed.

In addition, if anyone would like to cook something for them and bring it to the VFW, the Post Veterans shared that it would “be a blessing to us all!”

Later, after the hunts, the VFW will schedule a ‘Free Fish Fry’ for all of the property owners who volunteered their lands.

If you would like more information in order to consider your property as a place for this hunting for disabled Veterans, or if you would like to cook or help during this time, contact Paul Beaudoin at (540) 580-5902. “This is our first time at trying this!” he exclaimed. “We hope it will be the first of many.”

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